Living with Dementia
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Existing research into caregiving roles during early stages of dementia has led to greater understanding of the scale of change experienced – in particular – by spouses during this traumatic transition. Previous studies have identified parallels with bereavement, with the need to adopt coping strategies in accommodating the essential loss of a partner. Likewise, conflicts brought about as a result of disrupted roles; in particular the sense of no longer being a romantic partner, and comparisons with child rearing. This IPA study seeks to examine lived experiences of spouses of dementia sufferers in the primary care giving role still living with their partners, through a series of semi-structured interviews with 4 participants. In particular, the transitionary period brought about by the onset of dementia, coping strategies employed, and the extent to which changing roles within relationships must be accommodated.